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The 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter franchise and a Booker Prize win have helped the publisher Bloomsbury sharply lift its profit forecasts “well ahead” of earlier expectations.

Bloomsbury said an “exceptional” performance by its consumer publishing division last year has given it strong momentum. Consumer sales were up 20pc to £102m, including a 31pc increase in Harry Potter revenues as fans snapped up anniversary editions and an illustrated version of The Prisoner of Azkaban.

The Booker Prize win for Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders also lifted sales. Non-fiction growth was boosted by the television tie-in recipe book Lose Weight for Good by the chefTom Kerridge.

Sales of education and professional books increase more slowly, up 4pc to £53m.

Bloomsbury said the division will be at the heart of its expansion efforts as it aims to reduce its reliance on consumer books. It recently bought the academic publisher IBT for £5.8m and chief executive Nigel Newton said more acquisitions are likely.

He said: “Our strategy is to balance our portfolio buy growing the academic and professional side of the business.”

Overall revenues were up 13pc to £162m. Pre-tax profit excluding one-off items increased 10pc to £13m.

Bloomsbury shares rose more than 6pc to their highest in more than a decade and levels last seen at the tail end of the original series of Harry Potter books.

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